The Monkees: Season 1
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Here are the good things to say about this set, and Rhino's work on it:
1. They actually released it, and it has all the episodes of the first season included in order, with the original songs, and in vibrant color. This earns it most of the points, and is the only real reason to buy this.
2. It includes commercials, and the pilot episode with Boyce & Hart singing the soundtrack, and text trivia screens about each episode.
Here is what I see wrong with this set in no particular order:
The commercials and Boyce & Hart pilot are pretty bad quality copies. The box set video, while mostly vibrant throughout, still includes dust and hairs sometimes. The audio quality never gets above mediocre, and sometimes is either tinny and harsh, or muddy and mushy. The Rhino Monkee audio CDs sound terrific, as do most Rhino CDs. I have not been at all impressed with any Rhino audio on other DVDs so far, and these DVD 5.1 soundtracks are worthless--and the mono isn't much better. Why couldn't they have just done a decent plain stereo mix from the master tapes Rhino had access to for all the Monkee CDs?
I agree with a previous review comparing what was done with the old Beatles Anthology audio and video, and should have been done on this set. The volume levels are all over the place in this set too. The dialog is mostly quiet so you crank it up to hear, and then the romp music is too much louder. But what is really bad, the menu music level just blasts in comparison to the episodes. So, because you can't just set it to play all the episodes at once, the menu comes back after each one and you turn it down while the menu plays, then turn it back up for the episodes, and so on, very annoying.Read more ›
With all the recent technical advances these should have blown me away, like the Beatles Anthology set did. However, it appears Rhino didn't do any restoration at all to these shows, and used the exact tapes they did with the Columbia House videos. While DVD technology does make the pictures clearer, they still have many spots and flaws throughout like copies of films shown on old movie projectors. Even the ending credits on the first episode skip several seconds, like a bad 45. Couldn't they find better copies out there somewhere?
Yes, the special features are interesting. But why is the 16mm pilot black and purple? Same thing can be said about the commercials. I've seen better copies of these at the Monkees conventions BEFORE DVD's even existed.
Restoration can be done - check out "Strawberry Fields" (or any other video clip) from the Beatles Anthology. That stuff is as old, or older than these shows. Hardly any flaws are on the Beatles Anthology.
The sound doesn't blow me away either, especially how the volume fluctuates in "Last Train to Clarksville" in "The Monkees at the Movies". The soundtrack still sounds better to me on the Columbia House videos.
They did put the set in an interesting box - probably spent their budget on it, rather than improving the video quality. While visually cute, it's a bad design. It doesn't fit in the shelf with all the rest of your DVD' collection, and, even though the box is large, there's no protection for the DVD's.Read more ›
It seems that I've been prefacing my Amazon reviews a lot lately by stating that Amazon has a dumb policy of grouping reviews of ALL releases of any video. If I film was released on VHS and later on DVD and then on Blu-ray, ALL the reviews appear on all products. So readers should always click on "Newest First" and look at date review is posted.
This is the case of this Complete Monkees Season One. The set was released on DVD yesterday by Eagle Rock Entertainment, and yet there are 63 reviews of it going back to 2003, when Rhino first released the six-disc set - in a package that looked like a record play and had a list price of about $89.95. The new set from Eagle Rock comes in a much more conservative foldout digipak and lists for $39.95. After watching much of this new set - and reading details of the prior Rhino release, it most definitely appears that this is just a re-packaging of the earlier set at a price reduction of about 50% - an a package that will be easier to store. All the bonus features are the ones listed for the earlier set. So, if you already own the earlier volume, there is no need to purchase this one. BUT...... if you didn't buy it because of the price, now's your chance.
I was never a huge fan of the show but did watch it occasionally, hoping that there would be lots of musical performances. But there weren't as I learned then and remembered as I watched these DVDs. Most of the music came during the "romps" (scenes where Monkee's hits would play in the background. There is an option to just watch the romps on this set (same as earlier one) and they rarely ran much over a minute each.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Monkees: Season 1 DVDs took me back several years to when I was young. They still made me laugh! Loved it!Published 21 days ago by Bev
If you grew up in the 1970's, you had already missed the original run of The Monkees on TV by a few years. Read morePublished 3 months ago by David Girod
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